Gordon Bennett

A Level of Abstraction


In Tate Modern

Level 3: A Year in Art: Australia 1992

Level 3: A Year in Art: Australia 1992
Gordon Bennett 1955–2014
Etching on paper
Image: 295 × 198 mm
Presented by Leanne and Caitlin Bennett in memory of and admiration for Gordon Bennett 2019

Display caption

Bennett saw many depictions of angels in cemeteries and historical art museum collections when he visited Reims, France, in 1991-2. He found that, in Western art, angels were a symbol of Christian virtue, and consistently shown to be white. Bennett questioned the use of binary oppositions, and the racist associations of identifying white with good and black with evil. Here he places the cherubs next to abstract shapes, black squares or voids, ‘because angels are an abstraction of thought, and it doesn’t matter which culture you’re in, each has ways of describing spirituality.’

Gallery label, July 2021

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